James Harden and his history of unsettling franchises have put him in a fix. It all started with a forced move from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets. With the Big 3 of the Nets not finding the spark, he forced a move to the Philadelphia 76’ers, where his ex-boss Daryl Morey took him back. Now, after struggling with the squad and choking in the Playoffs, Harden has returned to his old habits and is forcing a move out of Philly.
Since he requested to move out of Philadelphia, Harden has set his destination to the LA Clippers. Daryl Morey has held numerous talks with the Clippers camp, but his ask was too much for the LA team as they think Harden is not as valuable as he was in his initial days.
Initial issues on the Saga!
Morey stopped the trade talks, and James Harden went berserk; during his visit to China as a part of the marketing event for Adidas, he called Daryl Morey a liar. He quoted, “Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden tells a crowd in front of numerous cameras. “Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization he’s a part of.” And post this, in an interview with Khou 11 News Houston, he mentioned that his relationship with Morey and the 76ers “is beyond repair.”
The drama was intervened by the NBA executives who launched an inquiry about James Harden’s trade comments. While investigating, Harden says Morey promised to be traded “quickly” once he accepts his $35.6 million opt-in for the 2023-24 season. The team owner, Josh Harris, had to intervene in the ongoing scenario and put out a comment that he was “accommodating what he wants.” “I respect James. I want to accommodate what he wants. At the same time, I have to think about a championship-contending team and what we can get back. I’d love to convince him to stay. I understand that that’s not what he wants to do right now.
NBA Fines James Harden for His Open Trade Requests
The NBA Fined $100,000 for publicly calling out his trade request after his comments in August 2023. According to Article VI, Section 18 of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, Harden broke the rules. The league could only prove it because of his admission during the investigation.
“Any player (or, for clarity, any player representing the NBA may impose authority on behalf of a player) who publicly expresses a desire to be traded to another Team shall be subject to a fine and a suspension. The maximum fine that may be imposed by the NBA on a player under the preceding shall be $150,000.”
Current Scenario and Harden’s No Show to Practice.
Harden didn’t show up to practice on this day and other days around it. Oct. 15 was the last day Harden was with the team, and he only participated in one 5-on-5 live session since training camp began, according to The Athletic.
He finally returned to Philadelphia on 25th October and was ready for his road trip to Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, only to be told he wouldn’t be boarding with the squad. He was MIA for ten days and was reportedly in Houston looking after his ill mother via Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson.
“He’s been gone for 10 days, so we’re in ramp-up phase again,” 76ers coach Nick Nurse told reporters following Wednesday’s practice at the team’s facility in New Jersey. “So, like we would normally do, he will stay and get on-court work with our staff and with our players from the [Delaware Blue Coats, Philadelphia’s G-League team] and two-way guys and things like that and try to get him ramped up as soon as we can.”
Reining NBA MVP, Joel Embiid was asked about Harden’s hopes of playing with the squad. “I’m not sure,” Embiid said of Harden. “I have no idea. Everybody in this locker room has been focused on—we’re playing. We got games every single day. That’s up to guys upstairs and management to figure out what’s going to happen, but we got a pretty good team.”
The current state of affairs has the potential to worsen if past events are any indication rapidly. When it comes to exerting pressure, Harden has experience doing so. The Sixers might not want to take that chance because of his evident ambitions on the floor and his level of effort.
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